Project ! - CASE 448 Garden Tractor !

I picked up an 80's Case 448 that was without an engine and realized its potential! I stumbled onto a Kohler 20 HP twin, and decided that I would turn the motor around from what was original (now going to have the Flywheel towards the back of the tractor), and also, I figured I would stretch the frame to make a little more "breathing room".

So far, I have stretched the frame. This is a Stagger cut that really "Ladders" in nicely. You do this by finding the front half of one tractor and cut it off long enough to "grow" the existing frame to the length you need. When done, you really only see one weld on each side frame rail. Getting the "inside" frame rail cut nicely is a challenge, but a few different diameter cut-off wheels and even down to a Dremel gets the job done.

I am suprised how much metal was removed by the original engine vibrating on the frame. See the marks above ?



Below: I found some room for a second travel control valve to act as a PTO valve under the engine location.


Below: I think the added length looks fantastic. Currently, it turns a 2" larger turning radius than stock. I am likely going to also move the rear axle back 1.5" - 2" someday to make more room in the drivers compartment.


I got this tractor with some of the parts already sandblasted. They had been laying around for a while. With the fab work yet to do, it does not make sense to do anything with those parts yet. I will get the tractor operational this year, then shoot for paint next year after I have all the bugs worked out.


Below: Here is a photo that shows just how much bigger this pump is. Original is on the Right. The new pump is a Parker "H39". It really is not that much bigger in GPM, 13.70 - 2500 PSI, but looks big because it offers the options of a built in flow control to 2 seperate ports (like for pwr steering) and it contains a built in bypass valve. I do not think for a minute that it will be too big. I hope that low range gets more useable, and high range ends up simply for transport.


Below: Here is the pump on a new pump bracket. Again, this is necessary because I turned the engine around from original.


Below: That Copper Tube was just used to check clearances. Be sure to always use the RIGHT materials for hydraulic applications !


Below: Here is a shot from the front. Notice that I am replacing the entire thru shaft of the rockshaft setup. I am doing this to take up some of the slop that has built up over the years and also to move the footrest brackets out farther in hopes to give them more support.


This view shows the clutch and fan.... The oil cooler is one set of holes forward of original. I will mod the hood pivot point ON THE HOOD to make this clear properly. Note how nice my exhaust will line up with the OE exhaust location. I might actually remove the sheet steel between the engine and muffler, so that the cooling air helps to dissipate the mufflers heat.


Below: Someone had Cut a big opening in the top of my oil cooler mount. I think I will have to close this back up so that when the muffler is hot and the machine is shut down, the fan below won't melt ! Also note that my engine has a idle solenoid. This motor was used on a new Miller welder on the test bench. It has 120 hours on it so far. I am going to try to leave that unit in place in case I need to make the engine cycle up and down because of a load. Yet, I need to find the correct throttle plate parts to get connected to the throttle cable properly....... h'mmm.......


Below: Finally, outside for a little air................


You may have noticed that I have located and mounted a new front electric clutch. Its a Mag-Stop, and I hold it in place with a single bracket under the crank centerline. The wire for the clutch wil also be attached to that bracket, so all I have to do is slip the belt over and I'm off and running. Nothing to detach in order to put the belt on !


Below: Remember that second travel valve ? I needed to "Control" it from somewhere.......... So, after hours of gazing, I figured I would extend the horizontal shaft that used to operate the original front clutch, clear across to the right side of the tractor. On that side, I modified two Hydro Drive Control handles I had laying around from a few old Simplicity tractors to work the two sections of the valve.

The outside handle controls the smaller circuit, and I left the original left side handle connected as well, so that circuit can be controlled from either side ! The inside handle controls the larger circuit.............. Notice too, I found a spot under the hood for a Flow Control !


Below: With the original hydro lift handle in "Float" position, both handles are clear for operation. With the original handle centered, the new outer handle is easily worked with your fingertips while your hand rests on the original. This will be great for things like power turn on a blade. The inside handle is not buried by any means, just slightly harder to grab than the outer. All in all I couldn't be happier with how it came out. I do have some issues with the larger circuit with this travel valve though.... It does not have any self centering springs, yet..... I might need to replace that valve with a different one before I dump this thing full of oil.



Below: Here you can get a glimpse of how I am going to make the hood wider without loosing too much of the original look. One of my first goals with that wider twin engine was to NOT cut the hood up so that I had to have a "gappy" looking set of decals. That back edge of the new hood additions will have some steel screening set in about a half inch or so when done...... H'mmmm... Maybe a spot for a set of small speakers in there for the Stereo ! <G>


Below : This view is looking forward thu the inspection cover under the steering wheel. As you can see, things go a little tighter in there, but happily, ALL of this cross shaft can be serviced from THIS end if necessary. I would sure hate to have to pull the motor or pump out to adjust or change out something.....


Below: My original goal to have dual brakes is temporarily sidelined until after I get this thing running. Yet, I need brakes, so I simply tackked both pedals together, shortened the brake rod and connected it up. Works great ! A few brake linkage shots follow.



Below: I don't have a CLUE what they were thinking when they made that brake linkage NIGHTMARE back there by the brake drum and band....... I had to make this little ditty to hold the shaft up in the middle of that conglomeration, and I added the spring to keep my pedals up when not engaged. No parking brake yet, but maybe I can forget that until I get my fully hydraulic disc brakes completed.


Below: Remember that foot control I was making ? I put on a footlever from a motorcycle. This thing is going to work out nice. Because he shaft goes clear thru to the other side, one can put a control on the right if desired. I did not think that a "rockshaft" type pedal setup would work for me.... Not alot of room on those footrests. I figured it would get engaged accidentally if I put a heel control on it.

Because I ride cycle, This pedal on the left is a natural ................. So, how am I going to control that Flow Control ?? Well, I could pop the E-ring and reverse that rotary valve (certainly shoud work), but it would still be impossible to reach from the seat. So, this will be a job for a simple flex shaft in a section of metallic tubing. There will be a knob on the dash somewhere..... 1/4 turn one way or the other will adjust my flow.




Below: Well, Whatdya know ! A oil tank from a 4016 DOES fit in an earlier tractor ! This tank does protrude forward maybe as much as 3/4" from where a stock tank sits, but I am sure it is slightly larger, gives MORE room to mount things in the dash, and as some have told me, should allow room for a power steering valve if I decide to add that someday too. I have been thinking about a tilt wheel to make getting off easier.........


What do you think of this new hood style ??? I am not done with it though. Those lower front edges of the extra hood wings will get pieces welded on them that turn the lower edge right back into the sides of the existing hood. IT will look just like the bottom of the main grille. I think I have just enough room in those recesses to drop in some of those small rectangular sealed beam marker lights. ------ Oh,, and I got to get that clutch done..... It will operate as stock as far as pulling the travel valve to neutral. You'll still need to use the brake though if you really need to stop, just like a real tractor. That hole up top in the hood will be filled soon. Lots of body work to do yet. I think I am going to widen those rear fenders too before I paint this thing. They look a little weakly, and if widened, I will have more room to mount some healamps in the front edges, and tail and work lamps in the rear edges.


Yep, it IS bigger than my Simplicity ! (Simplicity shown with transport bucket and center grader blade)



So far, I have picked up a metal Cab (like that is going to fit with all these mods), a Tiller, a SnowBlade, a Snowblower ( I have that already modified to work with the reverse direction engine), 2 mower decks (one is for sale). I am going to lop the top of the snowblade off about 4" (because it is WAY higher than it needs to be) and use it as the beginnings of my center grader blade.


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